WASHINGTON — Hoping to get millions of dollars from a government grant for science research?
The keywords you’ll need to use on every application is “climate change,” according to Colorado’s Republican Rep. Mike Coffman.
“When you put your application in to get a grant, if you don’t submit to the orthodoxy of climate change by the radical environmentalists, you’re not going to get a grant,” Coffman said.
The lawmaker made those comments during a recent appearance on KOA with Mike Rosen responding to a barrage of television ads paid for by a Washington environmental group targeting Coffman’s reelection efforts.
The $800,000 ad buys started last week urging voters to pressure Coffman to act on climate change issues, and compared him to an African ostrich sticking his head in the sand to ignore the issue.
A second ad, also paid for by the League of Conservation Voters, is expected to hit the Denver TV markets this week that says “climate change worsens extreme weather,” and again criticizes Coffman for votes against new taxes the Obama administration says would help to ease the effects of global warming.
“My view is that it’s naturally occurring, number one, but certainly man-made activity influences it at the margins, and I think it’s debatable how much that is,” Coffman said.
“But certainly we know that carbon emissions are bad, and we ought to do everything responsible to bring them down in a balanced approach between environmental concerns and economic concerns,” Coffman said.
Coffman is not up for reelection until next year, but he represents a key swing seat that Democrats are hoping to nab from Republicans.
“They think if they get rid of me, they will have a loyal soldier on the far left,” Coffman said.
Coffman’s opponent is former Democratic statehouse Speaker Andrew Romanoff in the newly redrawn 6th District, which was previously represented by Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo.
The incumbent said he is keeping his powder dry and does not plan to respond to the TV attacks, and will instead launch his campaign next fall.
Coffman said it is normal for Washington special interest groups to financially weigh in on political races across the U.S., but called the league’s campaign “unprecedented in the State of Colorado” in terms of money spent.
“I hope that certainly mobilizes conservatives across the State of Colorado and across the country to get involved in the campaign,” Coffman said.
The League of Conservation Voters TV ads coincide with another campaign launched this week by the Environmental Protection Agency to air public service announcements backing President Barack Obama’s new climate action plan.
The EPA campaign is intended to educate individuals on ways to reduce their individual “carbon footprints” and focuses almost entirely on recycling, commuting, using LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, and adjusting thermostats to 78 degrees in the summer and 67 degrees in the winter.